THE BLOG

Executive Recruiters: The Value Proposition

05/14/2015 12:28 pm ET | Updated May 13, 2016

My name is Mark Wayman, and for the last 11 years I have owned an Executive Recruiting firm focused on gaming and high tech. I'm a little unique from the perspective I only represent executives I know personally, or executives that are referred to me by my network. I've reviewed 20,000 resumes, represented 1,500 candidates and placed 600-plus. Compensation starts at $100,000, last year I placed eight executives north of a million dollars, and my average placement was $200,000.

One of the most common questions I get from both hiring companies and candidates is, "Why should I use an Executive Recruiter?" GREAT question! There is a Recruiter on every corner. I would love to tell you they are all lovely people. They are not. That stated, there are very valid reasons to partner with an Executive Recruiter. One disclaimer -- keep in mind that Executive Recruiters get people for jobs, not jobs for people.

Value Proposition for the Hiring Company
Why would you spend money on an Executive Recruiter? Well, there are two things I know for certain. First, the person you want to hire is not going to apply online. Second, if you hire the wrong person and they leave in six months, THAT is expensive. Outlined below are several benefits to using an Executive Recruiter. I would love to take credit for these, however most of them were provided by my clients.

  • Hire the Best People the First Time -- Want the best person for the job? Either identify someone in your professional network (a great idea!) or engage an Executive Recruiter. I don't care how many HR people tell you, "We got this." They do not. They don't have the connections; they don't have the access. Again, I'm talking about 100,000-plus executives. They are all gainfully employed, not applying for online jobs, and not taking cold calls from an HR person. For the record, there are some top notch HR executives, however most are overwhelmed with personnel issues and not equipped to do executive search. There are just not enough hours in the day. So I'll say it again -- ACCESS. Executive Recruiters have access to the best executives on the planet.

  • Identify the Good Guys; Avoid the Bad Guys -- Many companies ignore this completely. Big mistake. Candidates don't put their alcohol, drug and gambling addictions on their resumes. DUIs, foreclosures, bankruptcies, embezzlement, inappropriate relationships and litigation happy employees. We are not talking about one or two people. I can rattle off the names of a dozen million dollar executives with major personal issues. Executive Recruiters have intimate knowledge of their candidates. In my case, I have known most of my executives for 10 to 20 years. I know their families, their hobbies, their positive and negative qualities. I can quote the hiring company scripture and verse on each one.
  • "A" Executives Don't Apply Online -- Anyone that tells you "great" candidates apply online is wrong. I've been in the business for 11 years and I have 5,000 executives in my rolodex. I assure you that million dollar "C" level executives don't cruise LinkedIn looking for a job. They are gainfully employed. Inaccessible. Unobtainable. The Executive Recruiter has access and can make the phone calls to the right candidates.
  • Stop Getting Gang Tackled by Candidates -- When you post a senior level job, get ready to be gang tackled by 200 unqualified candidates. They will email you, ping you on LinkedIn and call your office. They may even show up in person to hand you a resume. And they all share one attribute -- they are not qualified for the job. The Executive Recruiter thins the herd, keeps your valuable time protected and only submits the best two or three candidates.
  • Save Time, Save Money -- You may think it's cheaper to let HR place Monster.com ads, but remember one thing -- you can get more of everything in life except time. Would you rather run the business or sort through the resumes of unqualified candidates? Is it worth it to have an Executive Recruiter save you a hundred hours of interview time by providing the three best candidates? If you hire the wrong person on your own and they leave after six months, how much does that cost? In the long run, it is more cost-effective to hire the right person the first time around.
  • One Day You Will Need That Bridge -- Always build the bridge before you need to cross the river. Some will say this is self-serving, but there will come a day when you need an Executive Recruiter. They seem real expensive, until you are unemployed and need one. Lord, send me 100 for every guy that told me he would never need me, then got fired and sent me a resume. Make it 200 for the HR executives, please. It never hurts to be friendly with one or two good Executive Recruiters. If nothing else, they can keep you apprised of marketing conditions.
  • Value Proposition for the Candidate
    Keep in mind that at $100,000-plus, 90 percent of all jobs come from your professional network or an Executive Recruiter. Applying online is a 1 percent proposition. For every senior level job, there are 500 applicants. Only one can be selected. Top executives never, ever apply online. Here is the value proposition for working with an Executive Recruiter.

    • The BEST Jobs -- Plain and simple. Anyone that tells you otherwise is wrong. For this reason alone, if you are at a senior level, you should have relationships with two or three Executive Recruiters. Most of the jobs they work on are not posted. Companies keep them off the radar. Maybe the company wants to make discrete changes or the incumbent has not been fired yet. Most of the best jobs are never posted.

  • Less Competition -- If you are selected, mostly likely you will be one of three candidates competing, as opposed to the 500 that apply online. Your odds of landing the position are much better.
  • No Lousy Companies -- Executive Recruiters only work with the best companies. Riddle me this, which company would you rather work for? One that spends100 on a CareerBuilder ad, or one that pays an Executive Recruiter50,000 to find the best candidate? Do you know why they place online jobs? They are cheap! An Executive Recruiter can tell you which companies are "hot" and which ones are a lousy place to work.
  • Market Conditions -- Executive Recruiters do this 24x7. They know the market conditions. Back in 2008, there was a flood of candidates, and most of them were under the mistaken impression they would find a job in 30 days and get a raise. Many never worked again. The Executive Recruiter can tell you how strong the hiring market is, and where you need to be on compensation.
  • Compensation -- Most common mistake by candidates? Not pricing their house to sell. They are making $100,000, but believe they are worth $200,000. An Executive Recruiter can assess your education and experience, then give you your "market value." And trust me; they will be pretty darn close.
  • Executive Recruiters are Great Negotiators -- Since they are your agent, they can negotiate your compensation package. The last thing you want is to fight about nickels and start the job on the wrong foot. The Executive Recruiter will know exactly where the company wants to be on compensation, so you are assured of getting an equitable offer.